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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

How to Best Prepare for a Divorce 05-24-2016

How to Best Prepare for a Divorce

Coming to the decision to file for divorce is stressful enough, but are you prepared for the work ahead of you? Here at Matthew Sheasby, Attorney at Law, our firm is dedicated to helping you handle your divorce as best as you can. We’ve put together a checklist of important things to do in order to ensure your financial safety and security throughout and after the divorce proceedings.

  • Take Inventory of Your Personal Property: In most states, property that was yours before the marriage is considered as separate property, and can be retained after the divorce. Along with property you owned before getting married, inheritance received solely by you, gifts given solely to you from a third party (not your spouse), and pain and suffering portions of personal injury settlements or judgements are considered separate property. In case things start to disappear, make sure you take photos of everything with clear date and time stamps.
  • Gather Your Financial Records: Having all of your financial records collected and organized in an easily accessible place will save you from scrambling to find them all when you need them later on in the divorce proceedings. Make sure you keep a copy of them in a safe place, like with parents, trusted friends, or a safety deposit box only you have access to.
  • Get A Copy of Your Credit Report: Do this as soon as possible in order to keep track of your own credit history. You should monitor this throughout the divorce proceedings in case your spouse attempts to make purchases on your joint credit cards, or attempts to borrow money in your name. It may be in your best interest to sign up for a credit monitoring service so you’re notified any time there’s a change to your credit history.
  • Open New Bank Accounts: You’re going to want an account so you can stop relying on the joint account you and your spouse have set up. Some states allow you to withdraw up to half of your joints, but you’ll want to check with your attorney before performing any monetary transactions that could negatively affect you during divorce proceedings.
  • Open New Credit Cards: Having a credit card / cards in your own name will both help you establish credit for yourself, as well as assist with day-to-day expenses during the divorce in the event that your funds get frozen or become unavailable. This will give you both a safety net to fall back on, as well as strengthen or establish a credit history. It’s best to do this before the divorce proceedings begin, especially if you aren’t working or if your spouse makes significantly more than you do.
  • Open a PO Box: You’ll want a safe place to receive and keep confidential mail from your divorce attorney, as well as any bank statements or new credit cards. Having it sent to a locked box at your local post office is one of the safest and fastest ways to get the important documents you need, especially when your attorney needs a timely response.
  • Rework Your Will, Change Beneficiaries on Insurance Policies, Change Medical Directives, etc.: Some states won’t allow you to completely disinherit your spouse until the divorce is finalized, but you’ll want to remove their name from as many documents as possible in the meantime. In the unfortunate event of a life-threatening injury, you won’t want them making medical decisions for you.

If you’re looking for the right lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga, look no further than James D. Madden, Attorney at Law. Our divorce attorney has spent years establishing a reputation for giving top-tier legal guidance. Our goal is to give each client the best legal assistance possible, so contact us today to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation.

Categories: Divorce Law, Tips

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